- Category: GENERAL
- Published on Thursday, 09 August 2012 12:04
- Written by Olusegun Adeniyi
In the last two decades, the Nigeria Police and whatever other authority has a hand in its leadership have become notorious for parading some people before television cameras after every high-profile murder. In the course of such drama, some interesting tales get told to journalists by the officer doing the parade and they would
be corroborated by these “suspects” who may be compelled to confess their crimes. In some instances, names of some prominent people would be thrown into the mix. But at the end, nobody is ever successfully tried for any murder, if the case ever gets to court.
While this has been going on for a long time, a new twist was added last week when Nigerians were told that Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde, the late Principal Secretary to Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, was killed on the same date and at the same time by two separate killer squads with two different objectives. In Benin, the Edo State Police Command has in its custody some men who allegedly assassinated Comrade Olaitan at the instance of Rev. David Ugolor of the African Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) who is also in detention. Yet in Abuja last Wednesday, the State Security Service (SSS) paraded another gang of suspects who publicly confessed that they killed Oyerinde in a violent robbery attack. Because I have known David for about a decade now and I consider him a friend, I will refrain from commenting on his travails so as not to jeopardise whatever credibility remains of this investigation into an unfortunate murder of a promising young Nigerian. But the careless manner of handling cases of homicide, terrorism, rape, kidnapping and other violent crimes in our country today calls for serious worry.
In view of the threat to national security posed by the apparent lack of co-ordination on the part of all the security agencies in the country and the growing ineptitude in their operations, especially with regards to criminal investigations, I believe President Goodluck Jonathan should wade in to read some riot acts to the security chiefs. But in the immediate, Nigerians would like to know who (between the “Benin assassins” in Police custody and the “Abuja armed robbers” with the SSS) actually pulled the trigger that killed Comrade Oyerinde.
A Lesson in Leadership
Even though a non-Catholic, I have somehow become one of the disciples of Rev. Father George Ehusani who combines his clerical job with social entrepreneurship, especially through a training outfit which organises high-quality training programmes for different categories of future leaders. Since 2008, the outfit has hosted over 400 young people at the annual Summer Leadership Programmes. Two sessions are slated for this quarter alone. The first, a four-day training exercise for newly appointed school prefects from a cross section of secondary schools, took place last week in Abuja while the Open Camp for 100 young people drawn from FCT and two other states, will hold from August 21st to 25th. All the programmes are fully residential and free of charge for participants. They are designed to teach the young people leadership skills and social values.
In bringing together senior prefects of secondary schools, Father George said he has discovered over the years that they wield substantial influence which can be deployed as a positive force hence the need to inculcate in them the right leadership values. On Monday and Wednesday last week, I attended some of the sessions with 80 senior prefects drawn from eight schools in Kogi State and the FCT and I was glad I did. In his usual stylish way of drawing the students out, Father George said, in the course of one of the sessions: “I am glad I am dealing with secondary school students who have not been exposed to cultism or is there cultism in secondary schools?”.There was a roaring “Yes” from the prefects. We have serious trouble in our school system.
At the four-day camping, the prefects engaged in sports, drama presentations, music, creative writing and excursions while some respected people in the society were brought in to interact with them and share their life experiences. The idea of influencing the young influencers which is what the exercise is all about is a very positive gesture from Father George Ehusani and I just hope he can get support from public-spirited people for some of the programmes designed towards uplifting our society by instilling in young people the right values.